Toronto, Feb. '06: It’s not about George W’s lack of intelligence (after reading "Bush Whacked" by Leland Gregory I am convinced his IQ is likely a bit above average, but he suffer's from a communication disorder -- he knows what he wants to say, but it comes out distorted), it’s all about the plain fact that he is all about squashing free speech and diminishing democracy around the world. (See “Still the Enemy” from the Toronto Star, Feb. 19, 2006.)
"Still the Enemy -- A bruised body politic.
Three years after the invasion of Iraq and more than five years since 9/11, real dissent in the United States is next to impossible. People who speak out against George W. Bush and his administration are paying a steep personal price, Olivia Ward reports"
When you repress free speech and political criticism in order to force religiously-influenced laws upon your citizens and push more extensive presidential (called “dictatorial” in every other country of the world) powers through the legislature, you are explicitly diminishing democracy.
In an episode of Fox TV’s “Trading Spouses” a mother from Louisiana is lured, with $50,000 US as bait, into switching places and responsibilities with a mother from Massachusetts. It turns out that she is a grossly overweight (think Gilbert Grape’s mama), bible-thumping drama queen on a “mission from God” (her taxi ride home from the airport is a classic 'backstage work-up' for her upcoming performance), but what is really most interesting is how representative she is of George W’s voting base. In the show (heavily edited) Marguerite Perrin does nothing to help out around her temporary new household, nor does she attempt to get to know her new family. Instead she freaks out about the fact that she is in unfamiliar territory. Her response to this is to spend all her time praying and reading the bible, her head resolutely buried in the sand, until she decides that the best thing she can do is try to drag the new family into her religion. (George Carlin famously said something along the lines of “Hey, if you get a lift from your religion, I’m happy for you, but don’t try to nail those lifts onto my feet” -- Mr. Carlin was a wise and truly democratic individual.) In the final moments of the episode Marguerite has a dramatic “melt-down” and, in a classic scene of a woman possessed (not by God!), she flatly rejects the 50 grand since it is “tainted by the dark-side” (she later recants and accepts the loot).
Ironically, the same people who will see nothing especially out of the ordinary in Marguerite’s steadfast, even heroic, refusal to be open-minded and accepting of any views different from her own, are shaking their heads over the “crazy, radical, un-democratic, Judeo-Christian-Holy-Land-hating, fanatical, hate-mongering” mob protests against the publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed’s image. They see those Koran-thumping followers of Islam as intolerant crazies worthy of contempt, compared to true-blooded Americans living in the land of the free...
Some people say that the biggest problem the world is facing is not religious fanaticism or overpopulation, but a world-wide deficiency of sectarian higher education. Every study you care to look at from around the globe clearly demonstrates the correlation between higher percentages of high school (and above) education levels and both cultural/religious tolerance and diminishing population growth (especially correlated to the education of women). Is there a disparity in the average education levels between the George W’s most stalwart “red state” fans and his most vigorous “blue state” detractors? Perhaps that is something for America as whole to tackle in order to aim towards becoming a less polarized, modern democratic country like those, for instance, of northern Europe today (note that “northern” does not include those countries with border on the Mediterranean, such as France).
George W. Bush uses the fanaticism and ostrich-like fear of the unknown of his red state base to support his efforts to force right-wing Christian “reforms” and restrictions on free-speech and privacy through the legislature by preying on a natural, but unrealistic, universal human desire to be free from any kind of threat (see: Signing of the Magna Carta, 1215 AD). George W. may not be the most clever guy to ever make it into the White House, but he was smart enough to surround himself with people who were sufficiently talented and clever to help him get him into a position in which he can exercise his formidable determination to get what can only be described (looking at the entire cross-section of Americans) as fanatical, religiously-influenced notions written into law in the US -- and imposed by American military force onto other nations (disregarding the debate on whether or not they are better or worse than the former status quo), while at the same time railroading undemocratic reductions on privacy and increased presidential powers through Congress under the guise of the “war on terror”.
Newsflash, George, you cannot eradicate the threat of attack on Americans, inside the “homeland” or out, and remain progressively democratic. The British, Spanish, Lebanese, Palestinians, Israelis, Sri Lankans, Filipinos, and many more nationalities, have lived with the on-going threat of violent attacks by radical elements for years and years with greater and lesser degrees of democracy in place. Yes, they have tried to minimize the threats by many measures, but in the end most have recognized that their citizens’ right to free speech, privacy and freedom of choice outweigh trying to totally eliminate the risk of attack by radicals. The people of many, if not most, other countries differ from Americans primarily in their determination not to give in to exactly what terrorists want to generate: paralysis of the citizenry by terror.
George, if you really want to lead your people, if you want to be remembered, if you want to defeat the terrorists, stop working hand-in-hand with them by propagating fear. Stop using “the war on terror” over and over and over in an effort to prop up your vision-less presidency. Tell us how you are going to move America forward, not backward, during your last years in office.
Mr. President, you got America into the war against Saddam because of your clandestine pre-election promises to help your pals in the American arms industry get even more stinking rich supplying a war bigger than the one in Kuwait, as well as to give your buddies in the American oil business control of the Iraqi supply and, in the process, make the rest of your friends even richer by handing out contracts for re-building the damage America caused over there. You stuck to your promises to your friends. I guess your voters think that's an honorable thing. Maybe you should come clean on you motivations, though. The Iraq war is taking place NOT because it will benefit the average American in any way (all it is doing is costing them trillions of tax dollars and killing their enlisted children), it is happening because you promised to make a lot of your filthy rich, morally ambiguous buddies even richer. Keep up the facade and eventually the American “majority” will wake up as they did with Tricky Dicky.
Here's another article from the Toronto Star I thought was interesting related to this issue:
"From war to law via scienceUsing the collective will:
A Nobel laureate's optimistic view of our progression toward a civilized, peaceful world"
"From War to Law via Science"